June 21, 2024

Care Nex

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The Impact of Blue Light on Eye Health

5 min read
In today’s digital age, we’re spending increasingly more time looking at screens. Statistics from The Independent found that people around the world use gadgets for just under seven hours a day—more than the amount of time recommended by health experts. 

This new habit can significantly affect your eye health and overall wellness. That’s due to one simple fact: screens are a major source of blue light.  

If you’ve heard a lot about blue light in relation to screen time, you may be wondering what exactly it is and what’s so bad about it. Understanding how it impacts eye health is crucial for maintaining good vision and overall well-being for longer—so keep reading to learn more about it and what you can do to prevent potential harm in a world where technology permeates all aspects of our lives.

Blue light is a type of high-energy visible light. It occurs between 380-500 nanometres, making it the shortest wavelength with the most energy. Blue light exposure can come from a couple of places. 

  • Natural sources: The sun is the primary source of blue light. 
  • Artificial sources: Screens from electronic devices emit artificial blue light at a distance that is much closer to your eyes than the sun, which means it can affect your vision and overall wellness in unique ways.
Naturally occurring blue light plays a crucial role in regulating your circadian rhythms. Sunrises and sunsets influence your sleep patterns, boosting alertness during the day. That’s why sunrise alarm clocks that slowly increase the light in your room can help you wake up in the morning, especially during the winter. The blue light that comes from the sun can also improve your overall wellness by boosting your memory, elevating your mood levels—and, according to a 2019 article from the Good News Network, even lowering your blood pressure.

Excessive exposure to blue light, especially from artificial sources like screens, can damage your retina, strain your eyes, and disrupt your sleep patterns. Let’s dive into some more in-depth explanations to understand why this happens.

Blue light exposure can lead to retinal oxidative stress by generating reactive oxygen species that damage retinal cells. This process triggers inflammation and compromises the delicate structures in the eye. Due to its short, high-energy wavelengths, blue light can penetrate deep into the eye—potentially causing damage to the retina over time. This prolonged oxidative stress can result in macular degeneration, a condition that can cause vision loss.